|Helen Mirren and Al Pacino with Major Hair|
Record producer Phil Spector (Al Pacino) invites young actress Lana Clarkson (Meghan Marx) to his home and she winds up being shot to death in his study. Arrested for murder, Spector first hires lawyer Bruce Cutler (Jeffrey Tambor) and then importunes an at-first disinterested Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren) to represent him in court. Baden tries to prove his innocence by suggesting Clarkson somehow committed suicide. Playwright Mamet has put together a teleplay that is only suggested by real-life events -- or at least he "suggests" same -- but the basic facts are in the movie even if slanted. Tambor and Mirren [Hitchcock] are excellent and Pacino makes a weird if compelling Phil Spector, decked out in a hairdo that he considered an homage to Jimi Hendrix. Spector's wife Rochelle is not depicted, and the victim, Lana Clarkson, gets very short shrift. Ultimately the whole project is cynical and superficial, bolstered only by some good performances.
Verdict: Holds the attention but not much else. **1/2.